My mum used to buy me flat advent calendars, even when I was a teenager. You know, where you open a little door and there’s a pretty picture on the other side. And every year I’d think wtf Mum, I want CCCHHHOOOCCCOOOLLLAAAAAAAAATTTEE, but I never told her because I knew she really liked the little pictures and I was just being a philistine.
Now I’m a grown-up I don’t particularly want the chocolate ones (try telling a child that when they reach an age and financial position that they can buy as much sugar as they want, they will no longer care for it – the horror and confusion on their faces is priceless). I still want an advent calendar though, and I’m still a philistine so I still want a treat every day, so I’ve put together a Top 5. Let me know which is your favourite.
Master of Malt: Tasting Samples £99.95 – £999.95
These are amazing. Choose from whisky, gin, vodka, tequila, rum, mezcal, bourbon, cognac, armagnac or, my particular favourite given the season, absinthe, and each day you will discover a cute little bottle containing different sample-drams of your tipple of choice. Prices are typically £100-150, though their ‘old and rare whisky’ is an eye-watering £999.95.
Susanne Kaufmann: Beauty, £99
If you know someone (Mum) who always works overtime at Christmas to make it special for everyone else, buying the perfect gifts, covering the house in foliage and scented candles, and cooking sumptuous meals for house-guests and hungry hangers-on alike, then they may just need a reminder to relax for 5 mins every day. The Susanne Kaufmann advent calendar is just the thing, containing a range of luxurious beauty products from her organic treats wellness line.
Diptyque: Candles & Perfumes, £250
I can’t believe I missed out on this one (mind you, given the price, probably lucky I did). Diptyque make the most wonderful candles and perfumes, and this calendar houses a plethora of scents. It’s only been available (exclusively from Selfridges) for 2 weeks, and has already sold out. Next year is going to be my year. Who needs food when you can have Diptyque?
They make so many different products, however, that it does seem a shame to limit the calendar primarily to perfumes and candles. Room sprays, scented ovals, diffusers, shower gels, radiance boosting powder (whatever that is)… I would have thought this the perfect opportunity to market smaller-sizes to those clients usually reluctant to venture out of candle/ perfume territory.
Fortnum & Mason: Wooden Tea Box, £125
Close your eyes, and imagine yourself surrounded by tropical Indian jungle or oriental bamboo forests. Teas from the hills and valleys of India and Ceylon, China and Japan will help to transport you, for a lot less than the cost of a plane ticket. From ‘Jungpana Second Flush Darjeeling’ to the ‘White Fuding Peony King’, all your tea-needs will be met with this. I love the painted wooden box it comes in also, making it feel that bit more exciting.
Liberty: Beauty, £149
Liberty specialise in luxury, and they’ve put together a selection of miniatures across the range in makeup, beauty products and general pampering. Another one that has just sold-out, you’ll have to get in quick next year to benefit from the discount of purchasing these products en-masse, as the calendar has been valued at closer to £400 than the £150 they’re selling it for. It’s also presented in a beautiful and reassuringly-solid box, fronted with the store’s familiar Tudor-frontage and lined with a classic Liberty print.
Oh, and here are two more advent calendars that may not count as decadent, but I actually like just as much as the others I’ve shown you:
Hotel Chocolate: Truffles for Two, £26
Christmas is definitely the time for sharing. My years of finding a lovely Christmas-boyfriend (the only criteria for this being that he had to look good in a woollen jumper, like countryside walks in the snow and watching Love Actually because he’d be gone by February) may be be over, but now I have a lovely Christmas-husband (much longer sell-by date on that one) to share things with. There are two baby truffles behind each window, including festive flavours like Mulled Wine, Pecan Gingerbread, and Cinnamon Praline, and let’s be honest, if you’re going to have chocolate it may as well be the best chocolate.
Yankee Candle: Reindeer Carousel, £31.99
Yankee candles aren’t terribly pricey, but I still love the idea of trying a different one each day in tea-light form. Fragrances included are: Bundle Up, Candy Cane Lane, Icicles, Spiced Orange, Snowflake Cookie and Winter Glow tealights, as well as a Berry Trifle, Bundle Up, Cosy By the Fire and Winter Glow in votive form.
Is anyone else looking forward to starting their advent calendars, or are they just for children (and me)?
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